We have reported that normal human salivary gland-derived epithelial cells exclusively express keratinocyte growth factor receptor (KGFR). In the process of malignant transformation of human salivary gland tumors, KGFR gene expression disappeared concomitantly with the de novo expression of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) and FGFR4 genes. In the present study, we introduced wild-type KGFR cONA or chimeric KGFR/ FGFR1 cDNA, which encoded the extracellular domain of KGFR and the intracellular domain of FGFR1, into the HSY human salivary adenocarcinoma cell line. The KGFR tyrosine kinase suppressed the activity of FGF receptor substrate 2 (FRS2) and inhibited the growth of HSY by inducing differentiation and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Our results provided significant insight into the mechanism of KGFR tumor suppression and suggest that KGFR gene therapy might be a viable method of inhibiting human salivary adenocarcinoma growth.